Breonna Taylor: What happened on the night of her death?

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Regular vigils have been held in Kentucky for Ms Taylor

The killing of Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was shot in her Louisville home by US police in March - has resonated around the world, with protesters demanding that the public "say her name".

On 23 September, one officer - Brett Hankison - was charged, not with Ms Taylor's death but with "wanton endangerment" for firing into a neighbour's apartment. Two other officers who were involved have not been charged.

Ben Crump, lawyer from the Taylor family, said the fact that no charges had been brought in direct relation to the killing was "outrageous and offensive".

Her family sued the Kentucky city for the death in May and reached a $12m (£9.4m) settlement.

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Breonna Taylor, 26, was a decorated emergency medical technician

Why was Breonna Taylor shot?

Plainclothes police, executing a search warrant, forced their way into the apartment where Breonna Taylor was in bed with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, shortly after midnight.

Mr Walker fired a shot from his licensed gun, later telling police he thought that Ms Taylor's ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, had broken in, according to the New York Times.

Officials say Mr Walker's bullet struck Mr Mattingly in the leg. The three officers returned fire, discharging 32 rounds, according to a ballistics report from the FBI.

Ms Taylor was shot amid the commotion and died on the hallway floor.

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From left: Brett Hankison, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove

A subsequent police report contained errors, including listing Ms Taylor's injuries as "none" and saying no force was used to enter, when a battering ram had been used.

Mr Hankison was fired from the police after investigators found he had "wantonly and blindly fired 10 rounds" during the raid, according to his termination letter.

Mr Mattingly and Mr Cosgrove were reassigned to administrative duties.

A timeline of the shooting

  1. Walker fires one bullet, hitting Mattingly in the leg moments after police take down the flat door with a battering ram
  2. Mattingly returns fire, shooting six times at Walker and Taylor, who is standing beside him in her hallway
  3. Cosgrove fires 16 shots from the doorway of Taylor's home
  4. Taylor is struck six times in a matter of seconds
  5. Hankison fires 10 shots through a patio door and window. His bullets enter the neighbouring flat

Why were police there?

The search warrant obtained by police included Ms Taylor's name and address. Authorities believed her ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, was involved in a drug ring and had used her apartment to hide narcotics.

No drugs were found at the property, though Jefferson County Prosecutor Thomas Wine said the search was cancelled after the shooting.

An attorney for Ms Taylor's family said she had dated Mr Glover two years earlier, and the pair had maintained a "passive friendship".

However, mobile phone records, bail paperwork and audio recordings of police interrogations cited by the New York Times indicate her liaison with Mr Glover began in 2016 and continued until mid-February.

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Billboards around Louisville call for the three officers to be arrested

Mr Glover was arrested for drug possession on the same night of Breonna Taylor's death. He has said that prosecutors pressed him to name Ms Taylor as a "co-defendant" in the case against him.

According to the Louisville Courier Journal newspaper, in obtaining the search warrant, police had said that Mr Glover had listed Ms Taylor's address as his own on certain documents and also been seen collecting a package from the property.

In May, Louisville postal inspector Tony Gooden said that another government agency had been asked in January to investigate whether Ms Taylor's home had been receiving suspicious mail. Mr Gooden did not name the agency but said it had found no evidence of wrongdoing.

Mr Glover also told the Courier Journal that he had sent packages of clothes and shoes to Ms Taylor's apartment because he feared they would be stolen from his own home.

What has happened since her death?

Police officer Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of "wanton endangerment" for firing into a neighbour's apartment.

Under Kentucky law, someone is guilty of wanton endangerment if they commit an act that shows "an extreme indifference to the value of human life".

Media caption,
"Questions still aren't answered": Breonna Taylor's family are worried about a "cover-up"

In announcing the results of his investigation, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said the two officers had been "justified to protect themselves and the justification bars us from pursuing criminal charges".

Ms Taylor's family and activists have called for the release of information regarding the grand jury proceedings, accusing Mr Cameron, who is a Republican, of bias.

Mr Cameron's office released 15 hours of recordings on 2 October, but these did not include his charging recommendations that were given to the grand jury.

On 7 October, Mr Cameron asked a court to dismiss a request from an unnamed grand juror to disclose information about the proceedings to the public. Mr Cameron argued the process is "secretive for a reason" - to protect witnesses and jurors.

The same day, the Louisville police released documents and recordings from its internal investigation, including information about the night of the shooting.

In one newly released video, Ms Taylor's boyfriend can be seen asking police officers what he did wrong as they place him in handcuffs, WHAS11 News reported.

The documents also show internal questions over whether the search warrant that led to the incident was written in a misleading way.

What changes to policing have been made?

As part of the financial settlement won by Ms Taylor's family, a series of police reforms has been rolled out in Louisville. One change is that all search warrants must now be approved by a senior officer.

The officers who entered Ms Taylor's apartment were not wearing body cameras, and the Louisville Metro Police Department has now made it compulsory for all officers to wear them.

The city's police chief was also fired in June after it was discovered that officers had failed to turn on their cameras before the fatal shooting of an African-American restaurant owner, David McAtee.

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"It's only the beginning of getting full justice": Breonna Taylor's mother reacts to the settlement

The subsequent interim police chief is retiring. Yvette Gentry, who takes over on 1 October, will be the department's first black female police chief.

How big has the campaign become?

Ms Taylor's name circulated widely during the Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality, which erupted in May after the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.

At the Democratic National Convention in August, both former First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice-Presidential candidate Kamala Harris mentioned her. Presidential candidate Joe Biden has said the officers should be criminally charged.

Major league sports athletes have worn her name on their helmets, jerseys and shoes, and chat show host Oprah Winfrey commissioned billboards in Louisville to call for the police who killed her to be arrested.

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US athletes have been wearing Breonna Taylor's name on their uniforms